Q. What’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys and the Hewlett-Packard board of directors combined?

A. I don’t know, but former Yahoo! CEO Scott Thompson gives it the old college try (heh!) and comes very close.

In case you don’t know how to use search engines and/or you’ve been living under a rock, here’s the story in a nutshell. The details may shock you. This exposé will pull back the curtain and expose the disturbing realities of human behavior. Like lifting that rock up and out of the soil, the potato bugs and grubs are about to scatter.

There once was a man who wanted a job. And on that man there was a resumé. And on that resumé there was a lie. And on that lie there was a flea. (Oops. I went one too far.)

Yes, this is the age-old story of the American dream, because, yes, that man got the job. He was a bootstrapper who set his sights on the prime time. He pulled the trigger and got er’ done. Do or do not. There is no try. Bring home the bacon and fry it in a pan.

It has been reported “that for years, [Scott Thompson] falsified his credentials, claiming that he had degrees in computer science and accounting from Stonehill College outside Boston, when in fact he graduated with an accounting major in 1979, at a time when the college only taught a single computer science course and didn’t even offer a computer science degree[.]” Source:

What’s the big deal? Everyone does this, right? That’s why I carefully chose the phrase “American dream.” Although, to be totally accurate, this sort of thing should probably be known as The Earthling Dream or The Homo Sapiens Dream.

Tom’s Law #42
When someone else does something wrong, they get millions of dollars. If I do the exact same thing I end up rotting in jail.

When the lie on his resumé was discovered, Scott Thompson initially responded by apologizing about the “error” and sending an email to Yahoo! employees that he wouldn’t resign. A few days later Thompson said he wasn’t the source of the erroneous information and blamed it on a headhunter firm. They denied it. Yahoo! then announced that Thompson was out and announced an interim CEO. Thompson then announced that thyroid cancer was part of his decision to resign.

Wow. In only seven days he went from “won’t resign” to “it’s because of the thyroid cancer.” I know he lied on his resumé but I’m still having a hard time believing what he says.

So Thompson resigned. He takes with him a $1.5 million bonus and $5.5 million in restricted stock that he received from Yahoo! when he was hired. Not too shabby for less than six months on the job.

Yahoo! denied him “severance,” though. (A highly theoretical word in my experience.) You got to hand it to them. They really know how to hurt a guy. He only walks away with $7 million. Remember that next time or we’ll be even more harsh and give you $30 million. Then what the fuck will you do?

Me? I’m shocked shitless that he was held accountable for his lie at all. This is a rare moment and one that I will savor. Too many people lie and get away with it. In fact, that’s the primary principle in one of my economic theories that states concepts like capitalism, free markets, macro economics and personal responsibility only have meaning in terms of lies and fraud.

Scott Thompson was merely the latest in a long line of proud CEOs at Yahoo! He was preceded by a CEO named Carol Bartz. As far as I know Bartz didn’t lie on her resumé but she did bring a certain flair to the position that happens to be right up my alley.

When brought on board she initially said that Yahoo! needed “some friggin’ breathing room.” (My emphasis added.) The use of the word “friggin'” right off the bat was very intriguing. Then she said she was going to make Yahoo! “kick some butt.” Phrases like these must be some sort of elite CEO jargon.

Later, when Bartz instituted secrecy blackouts within the company, she was famously quoted as saying that she “would drop-kick to fucking Mars” employees who leaked information to the press.

In May 2010 she was interviewed and the first question was, “How the fuck are you?” (That is one KICK ASS interview question!) I think the interviewer may have been having a spot of fun at her expense. She replied, “Is that appropriate?” But later, after she became displeased with criticism of the Yahoo! business model (isn’t that an oxymoron?) she terminated the exchange by telling her interviewer to “fuck off.”

I think I’m love, but dammit, she’s already married. And so am I. Maybe in some parallel universe, eh?

They say that a company’s culture flows from the top, right? Just like bullshit flows downhill, too.

A study published by the GOA of the United States in 2004 found that 28 out of 463 “senior-level” federal employees had “degrees from diploma mills and other unaccredited schools.” The report also claimed that the number of questionable degrees reported was an “understatement.”

Ya think?

Even worse, the federal government helped fund the fraud by making payments of $169,470.74 for “fees” and “expenses” related to the degrees on behalf of federal employee students. Note that these amounts are based on data provided by two out of four schools that choose to respond to GOA requests for records. The actual number would be even higher.

Again I feel compelled to shout out, “Yahoo!”

At times during the Scott Thompson scandal the data on his resumé was described as a “flaw” or as “padding.” Fuck that shit. Let us forgo the euphemisms and call it by its true name: Lies.

I personally know a guy who told me that he lied on his resumé. Why he chose to reveal this juice tidbit to me remains a mystery. Perhaps it has something to do with power. What good is power if the people you are powerful over aren’t even aware of it?

He came to the United States from another country. Let us call it Elbonia. When he applied for a job he lied about having a degree from an esteemed institution of higher learning in Elbonia. Perhaps because the degree was all the way in Elbonia, no one bothered to check it out and he got the job.

This was a big well-known beloved company. He did well and worked his way up the ladder. (Yes, acknowledge that he had to earn it. But it is still based on a lie.) Then he made laterally jumps to other companies within the field, always working ever higher each time he moved. Now he’s the Senior VP at a major company in a major field. I’m not sure why I bother to anonymize here. Why protect him? I don’t know. I’m nothing if not a schmuck.

Meanwhile I still await for someone, maybe even a conservative, to comment on Mediocre Fred and his status/fate within our current societal context. You remember Fred, don’t you? He’s one of the little minions that are, unfortunately, required so that rich and powerful can get their due. Someone in our society has to actually do something of value, don’t they?

12 responses

  1. brilliant blog post…


    1. A bit of an overstatement but I’ll take it. By the way, I picked up a doctorate yesterday. It’s honorary and issued by the Abyss Dept. of Education, but from now on, I am going to insist that I’m called Dr. Tom B. Taker, or, more informally, The Dr. Tom Show.


  2. Very good posting.

    And this comment means something coming from me since I have a doctorate in literature from Elbonia University.

    Yours truly,
    The King of Elbonia


    1. King, eh? You get the pearl. I get the oyster. Is the position of court jester taken yet? You see, I have this resumé…

      And they lived happily ever after! (Yet another lie.)


  3. Dr. Tom, You knew I wanted an opportunity to mention Elizabeth Warren here so very badly 😉 Her claim to Native American heritage was her high cheekbones, family lore and five recipes in Pow Wow Chow, yet see how far she got in the academic world (Harvard Law faculty!) on no proof of minority status whatsoever even though the school touted her as one of their diversity hires!

    I lack ambition and creativity. I can’t come up with any faux fancy degrees or heritage. Maybe you can award me one of your esteemed doctorates from the Abyss Department of Education. In fact, I think you should promote the department to a university and open a diploma mill. I hear there are big bucks involved, and the federal government is always willing to throw taxpayer money around. No reason you should miss out. Now is a great time, because it’s possible student loans might be forgiven right before the election. You could list that on your university website! Borrow now and all will be forgiven soon.

    Abyss University. Has a nice ring to it!


    1. The Doctor will fee you now.

      So, who is this Elizabeth Warren? Actually, she’s just what the doctor ordered. A prescription for curing my blues. In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m in love with her. It must be those high cheekbones. Sure, Scott Brown looks good in his undies but he’s no match for Elizabeth (as I like to call her).

      I admit it seems a little bit snarky what she did but the reaction to it seems a lot like a mountain out of a molehill. There has been a seemingly endless parade of people who have come forward and said she never got any advantage from this, that and the other thing. It’s almost like her critics are blowing smoke. (Oh no I didn’t!)

      You know what other debts are forgiven? It’s hard to imagine corporations ever pulling a fast one like those deadbeat college students, but if you use your imagination, maybe you can see it. A business operates in a specific building making widgets. They become a corporation. Then they get in all sorts of trouble. Taxes, government safety recalls, and lots of debt. After a while, pocketing profits along the way (due to all the corners they’ve cut and rampant fraud) the corporation ceases to exist. Then, the very next day in the very same building, a new corporation will all the same players opens in the very same building making – get this – the very same widgets! Inconceivable, I know! Yet I’ve seen this with my very own eyes. All those effected gets screwed so the corporation can get right back to profits without wasting time on all that piddly shit. It’s a very efficient system.

      AU has one opening available in our political metaphysics program. To earn your doctorate you have to get the board to approve your dissertation before you have written it. It’s a tough program. I’d wish you luck but somehow I already know you made it.


      1. Of Harvard is not going to admit that Professor Warren didn’t get most favored Indian Nation in her hiring if they can get away with it, but the evidence strongly says otherwise. I knew she was a phony the minute I first heard her. Even her research is suspect. “In 2010, as Obama was floating Warren’s name as someone to run his new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “The Atlantic” magazine reviewed her academic work and found a disturbing “pattern” of using bogus metrics to inflate the case for left-wing causes. “Deeply, deeply flawed,” it said of her research. “This isn’t Harvard (Law) caliber material — not even Harvard undergraduate.”

        Dr. Cathy has spoken.


  4. How can Elizabeth Warren stoop so low? Now it’s discovered that she plagiarized some of her fake Cherokee recipes for Pow Wow Chow. She makes up data for her so-called legal research, but stealing recipes? OMG!!!! Is there anything real about this woman?


    1. I don’t understand. If you cook the omelets why are they called “cold?” 🙂

      Wow, is there any bit of research that can go undone when someone claims to be 1/32 of something? They’ve got people out scouring cookbooks. And the strength of the Republic grows by leaps and bounds thanks to the efforts of these intrepid researchers. 🙂

      What is not known and/or shown in their attached images is if Elizabeth Warren claimed she was the inventor of that recipe or was merely the “submitter.” Especially with recipes it is very common to clip things, transcribe them onto cards, put them in binders, and keep them around for decades, etc. A recipe can become a beloved family favorite but the original source may become forgotten. I know this has happened to me and I’m no recipe copyright thief. Who the hell has the time and effort to make sure their source documentation on recipes is ironclad? (Heh!)


      1. Elizabeth just copied that “cold” omelet recipe from a New York Times recipe — perhaps she didn’t give it any thought, like os many other things she does. She faked her background, her research and even passed off other people’s recipes as her own “handed down through the generations.” Why is anyone in Massachusetts taking her seriously? Well, that is the state that kept electing Ted Kennedy, who left a woman to drown among many other transgressions. Read the testimony and cause of death section in particular.


  5. Dr. Cathy, I read your link. I admit that the oft-quoted facts (like 82nd so and so admission) could lead people to make reasonable conclusions, like the opinion you have reached about Elizabeth Warren. I do this quite often myself. “A, B and C are facts. They don’t prove that XYZ is true, but I’m personally more than satisfied that XYZ is true.” In times like that I remain convinced and cannot be swayed short of additional facts that disprove. So I understand completely and see where you are coming from.

    Scott Brown himself (or his aides if you believe him) got busted for plagiarism, too. Interesting, another link from The Atlantic. 🙂

    Personally I think at that level everyone is guilty of something. Our own biases may play a part in the particular things that rile us the most.

    The dude stole his “what he was raised to believe” from someone else’s website. Not only does that raise questions about his ethics, it makes you wonder what “lessons,” if any, he ever really learned. That seems like a very odd thing to invent.

    Obviously no one ever seems to think they’ll be the one to get caught. Why else would they do shit that is so friggin’ stupid?

    You got to be a sad, sad person to have to steal someone else’s past. Don’t we all have one of our own?

    None of this, of course, has much to do with which of the two would better serve the fine people in the great state of Massachusetts. That’s politics. I can’t shake the suspicion that a witch hunt against Warren is under way. Either she’s just plain dirtier or someone knows how to play the game better. Maybe she’s just naive and getting her ass handed to her? It makes me wonder just how and why winning is SO important to some people.


  6. Where did the “handed down through the generations” quote come from?

    I read up on the book Pow Wow Chow. It’s for sale on The description is lacking, though. The book is billed as “A Collection of Recipes from Families of the Five Civilized Tribes : Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole.”

    In my mind, it still doesn’t make it clear if these are “authentic” Native American recipes or just favorite recipes from Native Americans. So I’m not sure if the “plagiarism” allegation is proved or not. Did none of my thoughts regarding the handling of recipes move you?

    I thought might find this review of the book on interesting, though. I think it’s a little mean-spirited.

    On a forum website I once had a long discussion with a tea party friend of mine regarding Chappaquiddick. Like you, she faulted Ted on the specific point of “left a woman to drown.” My point was that the only evidence of the actual event was Ted’s statement and the physical evidence. That evidence doesn’t conclusively prove what Kennedy’s immediate actions were after the car went in the water. Do we know for a FACT that Ted lied about “repeatedly” diving down to try to save his passenger? No, and we never will. It’s one of those great mysteries of the universe.

    I’m no defender of Ted. His statement (as directed to his “aide”) sounds incredibly fishy and carefully worded. It sounds like something a politician would say. He was a fantastic douchebag that night, and I’m convinced like a lot of drunks, he wanted to put “time” between the incident and the police contact to allow bloodstreams to detox.

    On the other hand, he was a politician. I consider things like, “What would I do in his place?” Or, “What would a reasonable person do?” I find that there is an incredible motive to try to save his passenger. For most of us, this would be the reasonable human thing to do. Even if we discount such basic motives for a scumbag like Ted, there is still the motive of a politician trying to cover his ass and save his ambitions and career. For any and/or all of those reasons, I find it likely that he, in fact, did try very hard to save his passenger and quite simply wasn’t physically up to the task.

    For reasons like this, I’m not convinced he saved himself, shrugged, and merely went away to catch a nap. I bet he tried like hell to save that woman.

    And that’s my thoughts on a random topic to come up on the blog, which I always love. 🙂


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